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Jr. Tales: Monkey See, Monkey Do

Rachel Stein

“I figured you’d want to do a little touring,” she said. “So I arranged for us to go on a jungle trip tomorrow”

Thursday, October 27, 2016

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“M exico City, here we come!” Shua and Meir gave each other a whopping high five and ran to get some suitcases. Cousin Rena was getting married, and they were flying in for the simchah. What could be more exciting?

After a flurry of post-Yom Tov laundry, shopping, and packing, the Klahr family was sailing through the blue skies, eagerly anticipating a wonderful family reunion.

“There they are!” Aunt Leah and Uncle Nesanel rushed forward at the airport terminal, greeting the family with broad smiles and welcoming hugs.

The wedding was beautiful and leibedig, and Mommy, Tatty, Shua, and Meir danced until their feet hurt, staying until the very end and loving every minute. The next day, after they all had a chance to recover, Aunt Leah sprung a surprise.

“Since you came all the way to Mexico, I figured you’d want to do a little touring,” she said. “So I arranged for us to go on a jungle trip tomorrow. It’s quite a distance from here, so it means waking up very early, and taking a flight. Are you game?”

“Are we ever!” Shua and Meir chimed together, grinning when they spoke the same words at the same time.

Arriving at the Lacandon Jungle, both families made their way to the river, put on life jackets, and climbed aboard their rafts. Each raft held two children and one adult — on the first were Tatty, Shua, and Meir. The second held Uncle Nesanel and his two boys, Dovid and Yitzchak. The third raft held the two sisters: Aunt Leah and Mommy.

Eager to enjoy some sisterly time together, the two women were the first ones to cast off and head down the river. Moments later, off went the next two rafts.

“Look at those monkeys!” Shua called, pointing excitedly at the monkeys hanging upside down on the trees.

“Guess they’re not scared of heights,” Meir remarked, and a monkey squeaked its agreement. Laughing, they watched them swing from branch to branch, using their long tails to help them maneuver through the trees.

“Pretty neat how they use their tails to get around, isn’t it?” Shua observed. “Wow!” Meir crowed, gesturing wildly. “What kind of bird is that?”

“That’s a toucan,” Shua answered. “I’ve seen pictures of them before. How cool! Look at its huge yellow beak! And all the colors on it — red, blue, green…”

“Hey, there’s another one!” Meir said. “Awesome. This one’s beak is mainly green, and it also has a bunch of colors mixed in.”

Smaller brightly colored birds flitted by, and Meir and Shua were riveted, not wanting to miss a thing. Then a herd of white-tailed deer bounded through the tall grass, gracefully merging into the copse of trees.

Suddenly the current changed, and their raft began moving faster.

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